The BOCN is not really something you "join" as a member, but you can JOIN IN with the work that we do.
We welcome everyone onto the e-mailing database, and you can help BOCN every time you tell somebody else about the website, and the mission of the BOCN to increase Barn Owl populations in the UK.
We can put you in touch with your local Advisors and people running projects for Barn Owls across the UK.
We also hold a big Symposium every OTHER year, to enable everyone on the Network to meet up and exchange knowledge. This is a great event for learning more, and involving yourself in the BOCN.
You could start up your own BOCN group if there is not a local BOCN project near you. That's what many people have done,including the very successful example of our Cheshire groups.
Local wildlife groups, Wildlife Trusts and Countryside Projects may have opportunities for you to assist in Barn Owl conservation work. Local birding groups may also be involved actively with helping nest box monitoring or habitat work.
Advisors are people who have specialist knowledge about Barn Owls. They are licensed for visiting Barn Owl sites, (by the Countryside Agencies, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources Wales, Northern Ireland Environment Agency due to the legal protection of these birds and their breeding sites.
Licences for disturbance, study or photography are not given out lightly! You must first undergo training with a licensee, and develop your experience in Barn Owl study methods. In return for the priviledge of the licence, and to control who holds a licence, the licensees all have to send annual records back for the sites they have recorded and monitored.
These birds can be very sensitive to disturbance, and if the population is to grow, they need support in their breeding opportunities - not disturbance!
Licensed BOCN Advisors know how to deal with nesting owls without harming the birds, or reducing any chance of them breeding.
Some Advisors are further trained for RINGING birds of prey, but this is a rare skill, and so don't expect all Advisors to be able to put leg-rings on Barn Owls at your site. However, this can often be arranged, and it is a vital part of national studies of the barn owl population.
"How do I start training to become an Advisor?"
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and hopefully we can put a local BOCN Advisor in touch with you, who will often be glad of a volunteer trainee. Putting up boxes is hard work, and so is site monitoring! It takes a lot of dedication, which is why Advisors are special people!
"I am already licensed for Barn Owls - can I join the BOCN list of Advisors?"
Yes, please do get in touch by emailing email@example.com. We always need more voluntary Advisors across the UK to cover as much of it as possible! You are not lining yourself up for lots more work, unless you want it, because we are only likely to contact you a few times per year to help Advise landowners, or visit sites.
"I am a licensed bird ringer, can I join the BOCN list of Advisors?"
If you can ring raptors, your help could be invaluable. Please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!